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Urban: The Latest Architecture and News

Women in Urban Leadership: 6 Trailblazers You Should Get To Know

“Successful, vibrant, happy cities arise out of the visions of many, not the powerful few.” - Jane Jacobs.

While we’ve seen progress in female representation over the last century, women’s perspectives and voices are still significantly marginalized. This year, the UN reported that women serve as Heads of State or Government in only 22 countries and that 119 countries have never had a female leader, despite the strong case that their leadership makes for more inclusive decision-making and more representative governance. Moreover, women occupy just 10 percent of the highest-ranking jobs at the world’s leading architecture firms.

Courtesy of Charlie Hui, Viswerk. 2020.© Juju BerzôCourtesy of City of Amsterdam. 2021.Courtesy of Safetipin. 2021.+ 6

Tips for Choosing Tree Species in Urban Settings

In the early modern period, Taoist monks cultivated Bonsai trees seeking to bring their beauty from the outside to the inside, considering them a link between the human and the divine. Likewise, in the 18th century, different tree-lined walks and avenues arose on the outskirts of some European cities, generating spaces for rest and socialization that were previously non-existent in cities at that time.

In cities today, trees are essential elements in the urbanization process and act as irreplaceable counterpoints to manmade constructions for spatial harmony. Choosing appropriate tree species and maintaining them correctly generates countless benefits, such as acoustic and visual insulation, temperature regulation, the generation of biological corridors, and control of wind speeds. The main mistake planners can make when choosing tree species is forgetting that they are living beings and have specific needs.

What should we consider to pick them correctly?

Construction Begins on OMA's CMG Qianhai Global Trade Center in Shenzhen, China

The OMA-Designed CMG Qianhai Global Trade Center has broken ground in Shenzhen. Unveiled during the inauguration ceremony for Qianhai Significant Projects in China, the mixed-used 360,000 square-meter development will create a Micro-City environment, blurring traditional boundaries between building and city.

City of the Future Elaborates on Responsive Architecture

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the final episode of season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the past, present, and future of responsive architecture with Sidewalk Labs’ director of public realm Jesse Shapins, engineer and microclimate expert Goncalo Pedro, Bubbletecture author Sharon Francis, and renowned architect Liz Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

City of the Future Examines the Future of Electrification

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the fourth episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of electrification with Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, and Sidewalk Labs’ director of sustainability Charlotte Matthews.

City of the Future Explores the Future of Mobility in Cities

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the third episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of mobility in cities and share ideas that would make it way easier to get around without owning a car. In the podcast, author Horace Dediu talks about micro-mobility; TriMet's Bibiana McHugh tells the story behind GTFS and the OpenTrip Planner; MaaS Global CEO Sampo Hietanen explains the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS); and Sidewalk Labs' Corinna Li explains what Mobility on Demand could be like in the city of the future.

City of the Future Shares Thoughts on Retail and Vibrant Streets

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the second episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of retail with author Mark Pilkington, social entrepreneur Sarah Filley, Sidewalk Labs’ Director of Development Carrie Jackson, and others.

The Belgian City Doel is a Canvas for Street Artists - But is Art Enough to Save it?

Street art has long surpassed mere trend to become an integral part of cities' cultural identities. What was once considered vandalism is now not only accepted but encouraged. The works of once-prosecuted artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey are now collector's items; murals can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 or more. Through their works, artists may even have the power to save cities.

Ban Xue Gang High-Tech Zone International Design Competition Winners

Starting preparation from June 2017, Ban Xue Gang High-Tech Zone Core Area Urban Quality Improvement International Design Competition has generated 8 superior plans of 4 competition programs initially on May 2018.

This competition is an important measure to improve the quality of Ban Xue Gang High-Tech city in the future, not only requiring the efforts of the government and professionals, but also the support and participation of the society and the public. The organizer has widely collected opinions and suggestions of the public and relevant government departments on the 8 shortlisted plans by the online questionnaire and convening consultation meetings. And the calibration meeting was held on October 31, 2018, and officially confirmed the first and second winners of each competition program. The results of the competition and related matters are announced as follows:

Will Mecanoo’s “Blue District” in Utrecht Promote a Generation of Urban Centenarians?

That’s the goal, at least. Mecanoo has released designs for a large-scale development in Utrecht inspired by “blue zone” regions - areas where residents tend live atypically long and healthy lives. Currently there are only five recognized blue zones worldwide: Sardinia, Nicoya, Loma Linda, Okinawa, and Ikaria.

© 3d Studio Prins© 3d Studio Prins© 3d Studio Prins© 3d Studio Prins+ 4

OMA Releases Updated Images for Feyenoord City Masterplan

OMA has released updated images of their Feyenoord City masterplan after reaching initial city approval in 2016. Developed for the Feyenoord football club in Rotterdam, the project comprises a mixed-use district and a new 63,000 seat stadium along the River Maas.

What's the Difference Between a Megacity, a Metropolis, a Megalopolis and a Global City?

You can’t define modern civilization without mentioning its cities. These urban settlements vary in culture, size and specialty, with certain areas becoming more significant throughout the development of a region. Historically, the size or population of a settlement was a general indicator of its importance—the bigger city, the more power it yields—however, with the large rural-to-urban migration of the last century, it has become harder to define what makes a city important. There are many types of urban landscapes, and for architects and planners it is vital to efficiently categorize settlement types in order to successfully develop designs and city plans. The following list provides four key definitions that have emerged in the last century.

© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/126887487@N04/15006436297'>Flickr user 126887487@N04</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>© NASA© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lujiazui,_Pudong,_Shanghai,_China_-_panoramio_(11).jpg'>Haluk Comertel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seoul_City_from_Seoul_Tower_서울_-_panoramio.jpg'>Foxy Who \(^∀^)/</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>+ 8

X-Architects' to Design an Urban Mosque That Forms the "Heart of the Neighborhood" in Abu Dhabi

The Dubai-based firm, X-Architects, have found inspiration in the cultural and architectural heritage of Islam for their new design. The Revelation Mosque, a +2500 square meter project, aims to create a new "heart of the neighborhood" in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In creating a generous urban void among a towering context, the proposal offers an immersive escape from everyday life, where the public (regardless of religion) can gather, communicate, and interact with one another.

Courtesy of X-ArchitectsCourtesy of X-ArchitectsCourtesy of X-ArchitectsCourtesy of X-Architects+ 16

Kjellander Sjöberg Wins Competition For a New Sustainable Landmark in Sweden

Kjellander Sjöberg Architects have won the competition for Nacka Port, a new sustainable and dynamic urban block. The award-winning architecture firm, which is one of the leading architectural offices in Scandinavia will build the project in an area between Nacka and Stockholm, Sweden.

Out of the three architecture offices who were invited to compete, the latter being held in discourse with the Nacka Municipality and Architects Sweden, Kjellander Sjöberg’s proposal contributes to a “vibrant urban context with an inviting and varied program."

Nacka Port West FacadeNacka Port Site PlanCourtesy of Kjellander SjobergCourtesy of Kjellander Sjoberg+ 12

Aedas Unveil Design for an Undulating Office Complex in Central China

The internationally recognized architecture firm Aedas has unveiled their design for the Zhenghong Property Air Harbour Office Project. The sprawling and interconnected 196 foot-tall three-tower complex is proposed for the city of Zhengzhou, the capital of the Henan Province in central China—one of the regions' largest transportation hubs. Occupying a relatively narrow site, the towers are woven together by a rhythmic glass facade inspired by the formal qualities of the winding Yellow River.

Courtesy of AedasCourtesy of AedasCourtesy of AedasCourtesy of Aedas+ 7